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John

North Clarendon, VT, United States | Member Since 2012

2
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 3 ratings
  • 61 titles in library
  • 3 purchased in 2014
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  • The Modern Scholar: A History of Venice: Queen of the Seas

    • ORIGINAL (7 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Thomas F. Madden
    Overall
    (91)
    Performance
    (46)
    Story
    (47)

    Renowned professor Thomas F. Madden focuses his expertise on what has been called the most beautiful city in the world: Venice. In these lectures, Professor Madden explains how the city on the lagoon was established by refugees escaping the onslaught of northern “barbarians” invading the crumbling Roman Empire. Through its history, Venice housed the world’s leading merchants, thrived as a maritime powerhouse, and developed into an independent republic not unlike the present United States.

    Bookworm says: "Absolutely fascinating"
    "History for Tourists"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A very superficial old-fashinoned history. This doge did this and that doge did the other. Clearly designed so that you'll "know" what you're seeing on a brief visit to this fascinating city.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Terry Teachout
    • Narrated By Peter Francis James
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington was the greatest jazz composer of the twentieth century - and an impenetrably enigmatic personality whom no one, not even his closest friends, claimed to understand. The grandson of a slave, he dropped out of high school to become one of the world's most famous musicians, a showman of incomparable suavity who was as comfortable in Carnegie Hall as in the nightclubs where he honed his style.

    John says: "This audiobook needs music"
    "This audiobook needs music"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought this book after coming across John Shaefer's interview with the author on WNYC. In the interview, Mr. James' analysis of Ellington's music was illustrated with audio clips. What a missed opportunity to do this in the audiobook. All that would be needed would be a few bars of each piece and one's understanding of the analysis would be remarkably enhanced. Now I'm aware that radio stations have a blanket license to do anything they want with music and that an audiobook would have to separately license each song. I suspect, however, that the owner of Ellington's recorded works could be persuaded that the value of this library would grow if people really knew his work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ulysses

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By James Joyce
    • Narrated By Jim Norton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (651)
    Performance
    (381)
    Story
    (369)

    Ulysses is regarded by many as the single most important novel of the 20th century. It tells the story of one day in Dublin, June 16th 1904, largely through the eyes of Stephen Dedalus (Joyce's alter ego from Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man) and Leopold Bloom, an advertising salesman. Both begin a normal day, and both set off on a journey around the streets of Dublin, which eventually brings them into contact with one another.

    Peter says: "Ulysses (Unabridged)"
    "A truly wonderful production"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Ulysses?

    How do you find one thing to "love best" about one of the landmarks of world literature?


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Bloom of course. Who else?


    What about Jim Norton’s performance did you like?

    It's enlightening. I discovered in college that the way to read Shakespeare was to go to the library and read along with a recording. Performances have meaning. With the possible exception of the chapter at the newspaper office where seeing the headlines holds much of the humor, Norton's amazing characterizations make this "difficult" book both funny and profound -- jocoserious as Joyce liked to say.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Some folks attempted to make a film of Ulysses in the 60's with predictable results. By making the story concrete and visible, you lose the essence of the work: its audacious experiments in what it means to tell a story. You also trivialize it. It played like a series of charades of famous episodes.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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